Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Touring the Net

Here is my (sorta) weekly tour of the internet - and some things that struck me as interesting:

  • Christian Carnival CCXVII (217) is up (or soon will be) on the other side of the Cascade range from me in eastern Oregon at Diary of 1. The three that caught my attention this week:
    1. "Can an Atheist be a good Person". Starving Econ Student researched what atheists mean by "good" in that question, found a couple of examples
      I googled around and saw two atheist answers:
      1. A person who does more good deeds than bad deeds
      2. A person who has empathy and compassion towards others.
      and then he addressed those well.

    2. Translation does some funny things. "Do You Love Jesus?" - well there are some different words for "love" in scripture; and Chad examines the use of two of them in the same passage of scripture:
      John 21:15 Then when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Jesus said a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Shepherd my sheep.” 17 Jesus said a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep. -- NET
      Read the notes to the NET Bible text - those translators disagree - but I am not sure what I think. How about you?

    3. David at Boomer in the Pew talks about "Growing Up as a Disciple of Jesus Christ":
      Here was our opening question:

      Are you a sinner working on your salvation or are you a child of God (a disciple of Jesus) working on your sin? Talk amongst yourselves!
      and goes on to talk about the concepts of justification, sanctification, and glorification based on passages from Romans and 1 Corinthians

  • At Stand to Reason:
    • As an apologist, I get to deal with the "shellfish" and "mixed fabric" questions with regularity. Here is a great answer to "Why Is It Okay to Wear Mixed Fibers?":
      To believe the Old Testament Law literally is to believe that this was the covenant God made with the ancient nation of Israel--a set of instructions for running their nation. To believe the New Testament literally along with the Old is to believe that when we were joined to Christ, we died with Him and were raised with Him, causing us to be released from the Law.
    • Melinda points to a new book Why We're Not Emergent (by Two Guys Who Should Be) :
      They explain why objective, propositional Truth (not just lower-case t truth) can be taught and preached and still communicate with Gen-Xers. Both speak from their practical ministry experience.
    Last week I pointed to Scot McKnight's multi-part review of The Case for Civility by Os Guinness. This week had:
    • "Civility 4" which
      could be called a “civil screed” against the Religious Right. It is not too harsh; it never falls for the uncivil, but the chp univocally calls the RR to the bar for a civil warning.
    • and "Civility 5":
      If Os Guinness, in his attempt to call the nation to public civility, can call the Religious Right to task for its rhetoric, he can do the same to the Left . . . “We are closer,” Guinness states, “to the wild atheism of Madalyn Murray O’Hair, back to barnyard debating, with ungrounded assertions, irresponsible accusations, ad hominem arguments, and reasoning that repeatedly slumps into ranting”
  • Sarah at Intellectuelle in their "Apologetics 101" series talks about "Faith vs. Values?:
    It's unfortunate that he has come to think of the Bible this way--as merely a handbook for morality. Do unto others should not be approached independently of no one comes to the Father except through me. But is he all that different from many Christians who regard the moral propositions of Scripture above the saving power of the gospel. Perhaps we could helpfully understand the gospel call as one of many moral appeals, yet is the one that lacks political correctness.
    It is also the one theologically conservative Christians can ignore as they preach morality to non-Christians instead of bringing people to salvation in Christ.

  • Joe Carter's "Thirty-three Things (v.55)" series always has interesting stuff. Some highlights this week:
    • "Designed for Sex", by J. Budziszewski:
      I said that we’re not designed for hooking up, that we’re designed for our bodies and hearts to work together. We human beings really do have a design, and I mean that literally—not just a biological design, but an emotional, intellectual, and spiritual design. The human design is the meaning of the ancient expression “human nature.” . . .
    • An attack ad on Thomas Jefferson by the "Re-elect John Adams Committee":
    • D.A. Carson, as quoted by Mark Driscoll in The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World:
      Paul refuses to circumcise Titus, even when it was demanded by many in the Jerusalem crowd, not because it didn’t matter to them, but because it mattered so much that if he acquiesced, he would have been giving the impression that faith in Jesus is not enough for salvation: one has to become a Jew first, before one can become a Christian. That would jeopardize the exclusive sufficiency of Jesus.

      To create a contemporary analogy: If I’m called to preach the gospel among a lot of people who are cultural teetotalers, I’ll give up alcohol for the sake of the gospel. But if they start saying, “You cannot be a Christian and drink alcohol,” I’ll reply, “Pass the port” or “I’ll think I’ll have a glass of Beaujolais with my meal.” Paul is flexible and therefore prepared to circumcise Timothy when the exclusive sufficiency of Christ is not at stake and when a little cultural accommodation will advance the gospel; he is rigidly inflexible and therefore refuses to circumcise Titus when people are saying that Gentiles must be circumcised and become Jews to accept the Jewish Messiah.
  • Jan at The View From Her is one of my favorite bloggers. She is an Evangelical woman who simply writes about some neat things. This week, besides saying nice things about McLaren's Generous Orthodoxy - she adds something to the complementarian vs. egalitarian discussion of men and women's roles in the Body of Christ. She reviews Saving Women From the Church: How Jesus Mends a Divide where she picks the story of the Samaritan woman at the well out to discuss.

  • WorldMagBlog had some interesting stuff:
    • First, they have carved out a respectful community of differing opinions - and so their voting on the community's favorite movies is interesting. They have both top 5 category rankings and a top 25 overall. The top five overall:
      1. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
      2. The Princess Bride
      3. The Sound of Music
      4. Indiana Jones films
      5. The Incredibles
    • "Pronounced dead, man takes ‘miraculous’ turn":
      Just before Thanksgiving, the 21-year-old was pronounced brain-dead following an ATV accident. As family members gathered to say good-bye before his organs were harvested, Dunlap’s grandmother, Naomi, began praying for “a miracle”–and that’s just what she got.
    Jeremy Pierce at Parableman:
    • pointed to a piece written by Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly:
      for now I just want to make one comment: the current attempts to tar Hillary as a racist have gone way, way over the top. before the South Carolina primary, the Clinton campaign and its surrogates really did seem to be making a few too many racially charged comments for it to be just a coincidence (though even then some of the accusations were bogus), but after South Carolina it pretty much stopped. I can't say whether it stopped for reasons of politics or reasons of principle, but it stopped.

      But the accusations of racism haven't. They've just gotten more ridiculous.
    • and deepened the discussion about "Racism Charges and the Clinton Campaign" as well:
      I had to take interest in the first two comments [to Kevin's piece] mentioning Geraldine Ferraro, who didn't come up in the post. What interested me most about their appearance is the assumption that that's a genuine case of racism that they must be taking to undermine his whole argument. First of all, if it's genuine racism that doesn't undermine his argument. His point is that many of the accusations of racism are going way too far. One case that is racism doesn't undermine that claim.

      Second, I don't think it's fair to describe that as racist.


    1. Thanks for mentioning the Carnival! What a great group of posts you've highlighted here!

    2. So, what browser do you use? I'm wondering if that's it, or if it's the new "feature" system I have, which puts this other header in there? Are you getting blank space you have to scroll past? Hey, it's all my husband's fault! :-) He's the technical mastermind of my blog, so I'll have to pass this question to him...

    3. You are right that there seems to be some disagreement regarding the word Love in John 21:17.

      This appears to support my commentary on the passage:


    How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
    1. The Golden Rule
    2. You cannot read minds
    3. People are not evil
    4. Debates are not for winning
    5. You make mistakes
    6. Not everyone cares as much as you
    7. Engaging is hard work
    8. Differences can be subtle
    9. Give up quietly